Via Twitter

If you’ve been on the internet recently, you’ll know we have been seeing many entertaining and even professional-looking videos of a new Sha’abi dance for a while now. We are talking about is the El-‘Akabawy dance, everyone, which is now a national trend! It has even travelled overseas and is becoming an international dance craze, too. What an honourable thing to hear, right?

What is the origin story of this dance?

Via Twitter

Ready to be wowed? El-‘Akabawy might actually be based on a traditional Russian dance common with navy seamen and soldiers. Technically, their dance is more elaborate as they stay squatting on heels most of the time and dance with their upper bodies while also kicking their legs to the front. Let’s all hail these soldiers’ flexibility, people!

If you’re curious about why the dance is called what it is, though, here’s the truth—the name of the dance is actually taken from the slang term “moa’qb”, a term used between and for prisoners. It literally translates to the position a person is in when their knees are against their chest, in a sort of a squatting pose.

Oddly enough, this word is quite tricky and it can mean different things in prison lingo, not just the previous definition. However, we don’t want to dig deeper into that because there are some things we just don’t need to know, don’t you agree?

How did this dance go viral?


Via YouTube

On the streets of Egypt, a bunch of gentlemen went into full-on artistic mode and orchestrated this cultural dance with some minor tweaks. The result? Everyone just loved it.

After being popularised in a Mahraganat music video, the dance videos went viral, with a few of its dancers being scouted for a street-dancing competition in France, where they got to perform their one-of-a-kind dance.

Can We Learn it?

Via YouTube

Actually, yes, that’s possible. Many YouTube tutorials and even dance centres in Egypt can teach you how to dance ‘Akabawy-style! It sure looks like it requires a lot of fitness, and a lot of squatting as well. Mainly, though, the dance looks more like it needs a carefree soul who is willing to let loose with the tunes.

Whatever your age or gender, you can get to dance freely and professionally to an original Egyptian street dance. How cool is that?